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Others may applaud if you can perform clapping pushups correctly.
If you clasp your hands in front of you and look at the way your fingers are interlocked, you'll understand how the serratus anterior muscles connect with your upper obliques, better known as the external obliques. Together, these muscles run down both sides of your torso, from the shoulders to your hips. Each muscle group has a different primary role, however, as the serratus assists in various shoulder blade movements while the obliques help your lower back flex and rotate. Nevertheless, some exercises allow you to work both groups simultaneously.
Warm up by riding a stationary bike or performing another cardio activity of your choice for five to 10 minutes. Keep the intensity moderate. You should begin sweating but shouldn't be tired at the end of your warm-up.
Use a high-cable machine to perform a cable kneeling-twisting crunch, which targets the obliques and engages the serratus anterior as a stabilizer. Place a rope attachment onto the cable, hold it in both hands and kneel in front of the machine. Place your wrists on top of your head, point your elbows toward the floor and angle your torso toward the machine by about 45 degrees. Keep your arms in place as you bend your waist and twist your torso, bringing your right elbow toward your left knee. Rise under control and repeat the exercise to the opposite side. Do eight to 12 repetitions to each side.
Perform an angled side bridge to work both your obliques and serratus anterior, with an emphasis on the obliques. Lean your left forearm on a bench and move your feet to your right so your body is angled at about 45 degrees relative to the floor. Set your right foot in front of your left. This is the starting position. Push your hips to the right so your body is fairly straight from your head to your feet. Lower yourself slowly to the starting position. Perform eight to 15 reps and then repeat the exercise on the other side.
Target the serratus but also work the obliques by doing a cable one-arm incline push. Place a handle on a medium-cable machine and sit with your back to the machine. Position your chair so the cable is taut as you hold the handle in your right hand, next to your shoulder. Push the handle forward and up so it's higher than your head at the peak of your movement. Simultaneously twist your torso toward the left. Return under control and continue for eight to 12 reps with both arms.
Lie face down on the floor and perform clap pushups, which work the serratus and the obliques. Assume a standard pushup position by balancing on your palms and toes. Keep your body straight, your arms extended and your hands below your shoulders or spread a bit wider. Lower yourself as you would for a normal pushup but then push yourself upward with enough force that your hands lift off the floor. Clap your hands quickly in front of your chest and then return them to the floor to catch yourself on the way down. Immediately perform another repetition. Each rep should flow smoothly into the next. Do eight to 15 reps.
Be sure to use the right weight for weighted exercises. Your load should leave you fatigued after your last repetition. Use lighter weights if you can't complete your desired number of reps with proper form. Add 5 to 10 percent more weight if your final reps are too easy.